No. 979
January 16, 2018
 

About The UjianNasional@PeterMDeLorenzo Author, commentator, influencer. "The Consigliere." Editor-in-Chief of Ujian-nasional.info.

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On The Surface


Tuesday
May192009

ON THE TABLE

May 20, 2009

 

The Hand-Wringers. Publisher's Note: The professional fretting about the new Obama administrations emissions and fuel economy regs have people on both sides of the issue in knots. Is it perfect? No. Not even close, as a matter of fact. I for one am really pissed that it had to come to this point, but it just doesn't matter, because the "certainty" ship has sailed. But to Detroit's credit it's actually looking pretty good in all of this because the automakers have finally realized that they lost the PR war a long, long time ago and to do anything else but bend over and say, "Thank you, sir, may I have another" would be counterproductive and silly. They will make the cars according to the regulations, and the people will vote with their wallets as to their acceptability, or not. Period. - PMD

arrowup.gifCar enthusiasts, collectors. Publisher's Note: This darkness before dawn thing is for real. If you're planning on enjoying contemporary high-performance machines or always wanted to do so, now is the time. As we get into the teeth of the new emissions/fuel economy regulations, the performance cars we've been accustomed to seeing will be either neutered or eliminated altogether until the manufacturers can figure out how best to package and reconcile performance parameters with the new efficiency requirements. Italian exotics, German uber sedans and super sports cars, and cars like the Cadillac CTS-V, high-performance versions of the Mustang, Pontiac G8 GXP, etc., are on the list of Buy Now. Me? I'll take a Black/Black Corvette ZR1, the car that represents the absolute high point of this high-performance era, and the finest car GM has built to date. - PMD

Tesla Motors. Could this be the end of Tesla? Maybe. Daimler announced Tuesday that it had taken almost a 10 percent stake in Tesla. Back slaps and platitudes aside, we see dark clouds in Tesla's future. After all, this is the same company that set out to save Chrylser, and we all know how that turned out.

arrowup.gifarrowup.gifarrowup.gifThe NAIAS. The relentless dimwits on the Detroit City Council were approached yet again in a last-minute overture to agree to a deal to renovate Cobo Hall - which basically has the state cutting a check to the city for $400 million - with the hitch being regional control instead of city control of the facility. Rejected again. The 2010 NAIAS is locked and loaded for Cobo Hall next January, but watch for a deal to come together soon for an expansion of the Rock Financial Showplace in suburban Novi to host the event by 2011. It can't come soon enough as far as we're concerned.

arrowup.gifSaturn. There may be real life in Saturn after all. Roger Penske has hired ex-Chrysler President Tom LaSorda to help in his quest to put together a kick-ass winning bid to buy the Saturn brand from General Motors. The Detroit News also reported that two very powerful Michigan mega dealers - Joe Serra and David Fischer - are part of the Penske consortium too. There are other players interested, but our money is on the group that has Penske's name attached to it.

GM. The dismantling of the "old" GM continues as three bids were submitted to the German government today to buy Opel. Memo to GM: You can talk up your stinkin' "channel strategies" all you want, but when the music finally stops the company will consist of Cadillac and Chevrolet. Period.

Bob Nardelli. Publisher's Note: Chrysler has named C. Robert Kidder as its new chairman, succeeding "Minimum Bob" Nardelli, who had already announced plans for his departure as part of the company's bankruptcy filing and percolating alliance with Fiat. Kidder is a former CEO and chairman of Borden Chemical and Duracell, and is currently lead director on the board of Morgan Stanley. Nardelli was the appointed "genius" who was going to transform Chrysler and remake the American automobile industry while following the dictates set forth by the ex-GE acolytes who run Cerberus. Let's just say it didn't work out so much. Nardelli, who brought his considerable skills (cough) to bear on Chrysler's behalf after an outrageous, personally profitable stint at Home Depot, simply was the wrong man, at the wrong time, at the wrong company. He won't be missed. - PMD

arrowup.gifarrowup.gifarrowup.gifDavid Letterman. Kudos to Dave for having GM's Bob Lutz on his show last night and allowing enough time for a meaningful discussion about Detroit and the state of the auto industry and a more accurate description of the Chevrolet Volt, including a reveal at the end of the show complete with babes. Letterman took a lot of heat from all quarters (us included) for his fawning interview of Tesla's Elon Musk the week before, so it was a classy move on his part to rectify the situation.

 

See another live episode of "Autoline After Hours" hosted by Autoline Detroit's John McElroy, with Peter De Lorenzo and auto industry PR veteran Jason Vines this Thursday evening, May 21, at 7:00PM EDT at .

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